Mayor’s Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger, Partners, and Burlington Community Celebrate 25th Anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2015
Contact:  Jennifer Kaulius
                 802.324.2505    

Mayor Miro Weinberger, Partners, and Burlington Community Celebrate 25th Anniversary of the
Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Celebration Honors Progress in Making Burlington More Accessible; Recognizes Work Left to Do

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today was joined by City of Burlington staff, residents, advocates, and visitors to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at a lunchtime event at the North Beach Pavilion. The event recognized the advancements in the City of Burlington and beyond to reduce physical, programmatic, cultural, and attitudinal barriers faced by people with disabilities while also recognizing the important work left to do.

“The City of Burlington is grateful for the work of the Burlington Advisory Committee on Accessibility, as well as many others in our community, for their strong advocacy on policies, programs, and services that meet the needs of people with disabilities,” said Mayor Weinberger. “It is important to celebrate our community’s accomplishments, such as the mat and mobile chair at North Beach, which allows people with disabilities to have the opportunity to experience the waters of Lake Champlain. We must not forget, however, that much work remains to ensure access and equity for everyone who lives, works, and plays in our great City.”

The Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL), a statewide organization, joined the event as a co-host to bring statewide recognition to this anniversary and ongoing accessibility efforts. A VCIL member regularly attends meetings of the Advisory Committee on Accessibility and advises on issues of advocacy and equity.

“VCIL thanks Mayor Weinberger, the City, and the Advisory Committee on Accessibility for their continual advocacy and hard work, and for making this event possible,” said Sarah Wendell Launderville, Executive Director. “We recognize this is a celebration of how far we have come and how we can all join the fight to break down barriers to housing, transportation, employment, recreation, and social experiences for people with disabilities.”

Created in 1990 – the same year the ADA was passed – the City’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility has worked to advance issues of accessibility in Burlington. The recent revitalization of the Committee highlights the City’s continued commitment to advancing equity among its residents, visitors, employees, and other community stakeholders.

“As someone who became disabled six years before the signing of the ADA, I have seen tremendous changes in the way we think about people with disabilities and our commitment to equality for all,” said Cleary Buckley, a current member of the City’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility. “The ADA empowered me and countless others by establishing the right to accommodation and inclusion. We have come a long way but we have more to do, and our approach to accommodation will continue to evolve. ADA and its advancements in the last 25 years represent our society’s commitment to all of its members and a celebration of our differing abilities.”

The City of Burlington has worked with the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association and other partners to increase the amount of recreational opportunities for people with disabilities, including a wheelchair accessible treehouse at Oakledge Park, the adaptive sailing programs on Lake Champlain, the ADA accessible mats, water chairs, and ramp at North Beach, and other accessibility improvements made to parks, beachfront areas, playground equipment, and other City infrastructure. Accessibility and universal design are primary principles in all Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront projects.

During today’s event at North Beach, young Burlingtonians joined Mayor Weinberger in reading a Mayoral proclamation in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA.

Please see the attached documents, including:

                                                                                      

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Press Release Date: 
07/10/2015
City Department: 
Mayor's Office